The Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board will sign off on a resolution and order next week approving the proposed $585 million deal through which Liberty Cable would acquire the assets of San Juan’s cable provider, OneLink Communications, News is my Business confirmed.
The order would come down a little over two months after Liberty requested the agency’s authorization for the transaction, which it needs to close the merger.
That document will pave the way for the merger to close, as the Federal Communications Commission has reportedly already approved the aspects of the transaction over which it has jurisdiction, a source close to the proceeding said.
“What remains to be seen now are the conditions the Board will place on the transaction. That’s going to be interesting,” the source said.
OneLink is the largest provider of cable TV, high-speed data and telephony services in Puerto Rico and upon merging with Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico — Liberty Global’s local subsidiary, and the second largest cable company on the island — will become Puerto Rico’s largest cable carrier and a formidable competitor against the satellite television companies serving the market.Liberty Cablevision in Luquillo will expand its footprint into the San Juan area as a result of the deal. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)
As part of its review, the TRB opened a 30-day window to allow consumers and competitors to weigh in on the application, which agency President Sandra Torres said Thursday drew “mostly positive reactions.”
Perhaps the one exception to that wave of public acceptance would be Puerto Rico Telephone, which does business as Claro Puerto Rico, and has been proposing for the better part of the last three years to launch its own islandwide paid-television service under Claro TV.
In August, the carrier asked the TRB for “transparency” in the process.
Liberty Cable Spokesman Gabriel Palerm said the company is holding back from commenting on the status of the proposed transaction, “out of respect to the Board, and to give it the space it requires to carry out the review process.”